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Some people have a great deal of experience with the criminal justice system, but most do not. Unless your career is in criminal justice, or you yourself have been a defendant in a criminal case, you likely do not have a lot of firsthand experience. This is one of many reasons why it is a good reason to know a criminal defense attorney nearby in Cincinnati.

As one sage parent once said, “Wherever I live, I want to have the number of a reputable criminal defense attorney near me.”

But what does a criminal defense attorney do?

Here are five primary responsibilities of your local criminal defense attorney:

  1. Your criminal defense lawyer researches the facts

You want a cool-headed, impartial investigator checking out the scene and calmly assessing the situation in hindsight. There may be mitigating circumstances you have not considered. A huge part of any investigation, of course, is simply knowing which questions to ask. A lawyer with copious experience in criminal defense knows what details can make a defense case rise or fall.

  1. Your criminal defense attorney negotiates deals on your behalf

The prosecutor of the case may be able to offer you a plea deal. It could reduce your bail, your charges, or your sentence. In television shows about court cases, we do not often see story lines about plea deals. (After all, a negotiated settlement is relatively free of conflict and therefore not the most dramatic resolution.) However, these plea deals are more common that you may think.

  1. Your criminal defense attorney examines witnesses

Who are these witnesses? Who can question them? Might a witness be disproven or discredited? Your attorney handles all of this for you. Choosing and vetting the right witnesses can make or break a criminal defense case.

  1. Your criminal defense attorney assesses potential sentences

Knowing the reality of your situation is key. Which judge you have, and the track record of that judge, can make a huge difference in knowing how harshly the court may treat you if you are found guilty. The entire strategy of a criminal defense case may rest on an understanding of a particular judge’s track record and disposition. Also, it helps to be able to predict — in rough terms — the type of sentences a given judge dispenses.

  1. Your criminal defense attorney represents you at trial

If you cannot reach a plea deal, then your case will likely go before the court. You want someone representing you who can craft a compelling, clear case. An attorney that can create a relatable, understandable narrative is much more likely to persuade a jury.

Having a connection to a reputable criminal defense attorney that is based near you can be invaluable. If you are in need of representation, contact the attorneys at Donnellon, Donnellon and Miller.